Do not trust the "We noticed a login" fake email notifications

Also Known As: possible malware infections
Damage level: Medium

What is "We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use Email Scam"?

"We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use" refers to an email spam campaign - a mass-scale operation during which thousands of deceptive emails are sent. The letters distributed through this campaign are disguised as notifications concerning a suspicious device having been used to sign into the recipients' email accounts.

The goal of these scam letters is to trick users into exposing their email account log-in credentials (i.e., email addresses/ usernames and corresponding passwords) by attempting to log in via a phishing website.

We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use email spam campaign

"We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use" email in detail

The "We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use" scam emails (subject/title "New login to [recipient's email address] from Safari on Mac OS"; may vary) inform about a dubious log-in through a previously unused device. The fake notifications then go on to list details of the alleged sign-in to the recipient's email account.

The letters instruct to disregard them if it was indeed the recipient who had logged into their account. However, if it was not them - the emails tell the recipient to click "secure your account here".

Despite how legitimate these emails may seem, it must be emphasized that they are fake. Therefore, no unauthorized access to the recipients' accounts has occurred. Furthermore, the link provided in these letters leads to a phishing website disguised as an email account sign-in page.

Sites of this type operate by recording the data entered into them. Therefore, recipients may have their email accounts stolen by attempting to sign in through the website promoted by the "We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use" scam letters.

Scammers target emails as they are typically connected with (e.g., used to register) other accounts, platforms, services, and so on. Therefore, through stolen email accounts - cyber criminals may gain access/control over content associated with them.

To elaborate on how this can be abused, communication accounts (e.g., emails, social networking, social media, messengers, etc.) can be used to ask the contacts/friends for loans - under the guise of the genuine owner. Alternatively, these platforms can be employed to proliferate malware by sharing malicious files or links.

Finance-related accounts (e.g., online banking, money transferring, e-commerce, digital wallets, etc.) can be used to make fraudulent transactions and/or online purchases. In summary, by trusting the "We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use" scam emails, users can experience severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.

Threat Summary:
Name We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use Email Scam
Threat Type Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud
Fake Claim Scam emails claim that a previously unused device has logged into the recipients' email accounts
Symptoms Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.
Distribution methods Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.
Damage Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.
Malware Removal (Windows)

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Spam campaigns in general

"MoneyGram Email Scam", "New Fax Received", "System has detected irregular activity", and "Email Cloud Scam" are some examples of phishing spam campaigns. The deceptive emails are usually disguised as "official", urgent", "important", and similar.

Aside from phishing and other scams, spam letters are also used to spread malware (e.g., trojans, ransomware, cryptocurrency miners, etc.). Due to the relative prevalence of spam mail, it is strongly advised to exercise caution with incoming emails and messages.

How do spam campaigns infect computers?

Systems are infected via malicious files distributed through spam campaigns. The files can be attached to the emails, or the letters can contain download links of infectious content. Virulent files can be in various formats, e.g., archives, executables, PDF and Microsoft Office documents, JavaScript, and so forth.

When the files are opened - malware download/installation is initiated. For example, Microsoft Office documents cause infections by executing malicious macro commands. This process begins the moment a document is opened in Microsoft Office versions released before 2010. Newer versions have "Protected View" mode that prevents automatic execution of macros. Instead, users can manually enable macro commands (i.e., editing/content).

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting the system via spam mail, it is expressly advised against opening suspicious and irrelevant emails - especially any attachments or links found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010.

Malware is also spread through dubious download sources (e.g., unofficial and freeware sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.), illegal activation tools ("cracks"), and fake updates. Hence, it is important to use official/verified download channels and tools provided by genuine developers to activate/update software.

It is paramount to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept updated. These programs have to be used to run regular system scans and to remove threats. If you've already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use" scam email letter:

Subject: New login to ******** from Safari on Mac OS

We Noticed a New Login,

We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use.

Mac OS X · Safari · Toronto, ON, Canada
August 30  at 8:40AM (PDT)
If this was you, you can safely disregard this email. If this wasn't you, you can  secure your account here .
Learn more  about keeping your account secure.

Screenshot of the phishing website promoted through the "We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use" spam campaign:

We noticed a login from a device you don't usually use scam email promoted phishing website

Another example of "We Noticed A Login From A Device You Don't Usually Use Email Scam"-themed email spam:

We Noticed A Login From A Device You Don't Usually Use Email Scam (2021-09-02)

Text presented within:

Subject: Security alert for ********


This email is a copy of the security alert sent to ********.  [-Email-]] is the recovery email address for this account. If you don't know this account,  unlink it .
The new device is signed in to:
Your Google Account has just been signed in from a new Windows device. This e-mail was sent to make sure you are the one signing in.
Check activity
You can see the security activity if you want
This email has been sent to notify you of important changes to your Google Account and services.
© 2021 Google LLC, 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

Phishing site promoted via We Noticed A Login From A Device You Don't Usually Use Email Scam (2021-09-02)

Another example of a login notification-themed spam email:

Unrecognized Login Attempt spam email

Text presented within:

Subject: Unrecognized Login Attempt ********


Unrecognized Login Attempt
We received some notification regarding Unusual Signing into your account and recent changes.
You will be restricted to your account and might lead to loss of files, data, contacts, documents and transactions if we do not hear from you
Please kindly click below to Confirm your Email and reclaim your account.
Recover Mail

© 2021 ********

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example, using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup.

Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings".

Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options".

In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs.

These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software. To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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